Oostvaardersplassen

Oostvaardersplassen

Nature in it's purest form.

When the FlevoPolder was created during the second stage of the Zuiderzee Works in the last century, this corner of the polder was left alone. Nature took hold here and slowly the beginnings of an eco-system developed. From a vast stretch of empty, soggy, muddy land (former seabed) it turned into marshland, lakes, reedbeds and rugged grasslands, foraging and breeding grounds for great numbers of marsh and water birds. The Herron, Bittern, Reed Warbler, Goose, Spoonbill, Cormorant… even the White-Tailed Eagle breed here. It’s bird spotters’ heaven, especially from April to July. At this point, large wild herbivores were introduced to the area to keep the landscape wide open for the fantastic bird population. Otherwise it would have become woodland by now, as that is what happens in a process of natural succession in a wetland environment. Some argue that the area is too small for a sustainable balanced ecosystem from Konik horses, red deer and heck cattle down to the fox, hare, bat, butterfly and the smallest microorganism. Everybody is in agreement, however, that it is a fascinating place! To avoid the effects of human disturbance on birds most of the reserve is closed to the public but observation huts and hillocks are in place. You can look out over the reserve from the road on Knardijk; or from Praambult on the road called Praamweg.